All The Rage

The Image staff muses on the culture of
keeping up appearances

« Previous Post | All The Rage Home | Next Post »

Phillip Lim puts a modern spin on the traditional 'penguin suit' for the Met Ball [Updated]

May 4, 2010 |  5:36 pm


While all eyes were on the bejeweled and bedazzled ladies who ascended the red carpet steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday night, some of the men found ways to mix up the traditional tuxedo and sport something as fetching as a couture gown.

Decades owner Cameron Silver donned a bespoke “Guru” tuxedo by Phillip Lim that was inspired by the roll-down waist "Guru" pant from Lim’s Spring/Summer 2010 men’s collection. The slouchy gather and casual vibe of the pant was dressed up with a black double-breasted tuxedo jacket, antique white shirt and bow tie -- all custom-made for the event.

"Phillip successfully updated the classic men’s 'penguin suit' and designed a tuxedo that is thoroughly 21st century and modern," says Silver. “I hope someday this tux will be in a retrospective of men’s American fashion, but for now I am proud to hang it in my closet!”

Lim was originally inspired to create the Guru from the lightweight fabrics and utilitarian style of the pants worn by farmers in Asia. The drawstring waist is a practical feature for an expanding or decreasing waistline and the slouchy shape wears well while moving and bending as well as in warm climates. In this case the roll-down waist served as a cummerbund.

Formal wear inspired by work wear -- that's what I call modern.

[Updated: A photo of the actual Guru pants suit that inspired the custom-made tuxedo has been added to this post. An earlier version of this post showed the women's Guru pants.]

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Left photo: Angelique Soave and Cameron Silver at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual gala. 

Right photo: Guru Suit from 3.1. Phillip Lim spring/summer 2010 men's presentation. Credit: